British tennis star in floods of tears after retiring from…..

British tennis star in floods of tears after retiring from Australian Open with injury.

British star Francesca Jones was left in floods of tears as she was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open.

Jones was taking on Ella Seidel in the second round of qualifying on Thursday in the penultimate stage before the first round gets underway on Saturday. The 23-year-old lost the first set 3-6, but rallied back to win the second 7-6 in a tie-break.

She then took charge of the final set, breaking Seidel twice to close in on a spot in the final round of qualifying. The Brit was in total control of the final set, having gone 4-0 up heading into the fifth game.

Jones then began feeling a pain in her left leg, reported to be cramp, and was unable to win another game in that set. The issue worsened, with Jones calling for a physio, though she could only speak to medics as players are not allowed to call a time out for cramp.

She was docked a point with Seidel serving with the scores 4-3 because she wasn’t ready, before eventually retiring at the end of the next game with the set poised at 4-4. Jones broke down in tears as her dream of progressing died.

The world No.295 then had to be helped from the court as she was in visible pain, with tears streaming down her face. A win over Seidel would have left Jones just one match away from a place in the main draw of a Grand Slam for just the third time.

Those only two occasions she has reached the main draw both came in 2021 at that year’s Australian Open and at Wimbledon. Jones has been forced to battle injuries throughout her career.

Australian Open 2024: English player Francesca Jones' emotional retirement  during qualifying

Jones suffered a cramp in her left leg..

Those injuries have seen her forced out of six of the last eight Grand Slam tournaments. Seidel will take on World No.19 Hailey Baptiste in the final qualifying round, with the American also forced to go through the qualifiers despite her world ranking.

There was further disappointment for British hopes, with Harriet Dart, Ryan Peniston and Billy Harris all crashing out alongside Jones. Oliver Crawford was able to progress though, beating Francesco Passaro in straight sets.

Crawford will face Vit Kopriva in the final qualifying round for a spot in the main draw. There is also positive news around the fitness of Emm Raducanu, who had withdrawn from two recent exhibition matches.

The 21-year-old made her return to the sport at the ASB Classic at the start of the year after eight months out with injury. She felt soreness during her second round loss in Auckland to Elina Svitolina.

But she appeared to be close to full fitness as she turned out on the practice court. Raducanu will take on American star Shelby Rogers in her first round match this weekend.

Elsewhere, men’s British No. 1 Cameron Norrie withdrew from an ATP event in Auckland with a wrist injury, though he is expected to be back to full fitness for his opening match of the Australian Open against Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas.

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